Wildcats riding high entering district play against Terrebonne
Destrehan receiver Kirk Merritt runs to the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown.
Destrehan was impressive in their fist two wins of the season against West Jefferson and Helen Cox, but Wildcat head coach Stephen Robicheaux said they had last week’s game against Dutchtown circled on the calendar.
"I thought it was a big game and we knew it was going to be a key game because it was a step up in talent," Robicheaux said. "They had two SEC commitments on offense and we had to play well on defense to win."
The Destrehan offense has been unstoppable so far this season and the defense played just as well, holding a physical Dutchtown offense to just 14 points. Junior running back Will Mathews led the Wildcat offense with 141 yards and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Donovan Isom threw a 38-yard touchdown to John Williams, found Kirk Merritt for a 48-yard score and ran in a touchdown from a yard out.
The Destrehan defense also got in on the action with senior defensive back Talvin Michael recovering a fumble in the Dutchtown end zone.
Robicheaux couldn’t have been happier.
"Dutchtown is a good football team and to compete and win the way we did, it was real exciting," he said. "Going into the game we thought their offensive line was going to be a problem, but Ed Leonard, Glen Logan and Matt Gunter did a heck of a job. Our offensive line played well again also, and if you can control the line of scrimmage you always have a chance to win."
Robicheaux has noticed a lot of improvement on the defensive side of the ball from the first game of the season to the win over Dutchtown. He said it mostly comes down to his players grasping the defensive scheme.
"They are learning where they need to fit and finding out it’s a team game. That’s starting to pay off for us," Robicheaux said. "They are playing at a high level now."
The defense will be tested again in the first district game of the season against Terrebonne. Like Destrehan, the Tigers are 3-0 on the season. They have beaten Redemptorist, South Terrebonne and Ellender, scoring 128 total points in those victories. Terrebonne returns six starters from last year’s playoff team including quarterback Colby Stewart and four of their offensive linemen.
"They’ve been scoring points and they are doing it running the football," Robicheaux said. "They have a good line, a good running back and their quarterback is running well. They have one huge offensive lineman and the others are about average size, but their running game could cause us some problems. If we continue to play defense the way we did last week, we should be OK."
On defense, the Tigers return six starters and are led by an experienced linebacking core.
"They line up mainly in a four-man front. They are not very big, but they do run to the football well and they have linebackers that flow to the ball," Robicheaux said. "We have to play at the perimeter and hopefully continue to run the ball well. When we get shots down field, we have to take them."
Robicheaux knows that it’s a challenge for teams to defend against his offense, which is loaded with playmakers in the running and passing games.
"It’s a situation where you have to pick your poison," he said. "If you try to stop the pass, we run. If you try to stop the run, we pass."
Kickoff for the Destrehan vs. Terrebonne game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Terrebonne.
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